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Tom Humbarger has written a fascinating read on the importance of active management to the success of an online community.One of the most interesting sections to me is the Google Analytics snippet. We don't often get to compare our network metrics to others. In a year and a half, the group grew from 0 to 4,000 members, and in the final full year saw just under 200,000 pageviews.

His active management consisted of:* delivery of bi-weekly email update newsletters* production of monthly webcasts* active blog posting and blogger outreach* uploading of fresh content each week* continual promotion of the community in various forums through guerilla marketing* ongoing brainstorming and strategizing with respect to improving the community experience* priming of discussion forums, and* ongoing communications with individual community membersWhat do you do to actively manage your Ning Networks?

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Comments

  • Great article from a new manager with a fast growing site. Do the webcasts get posted in the video? Any tips on production?
  • I think you are a super user, Tom! :D
  • There is a general rule in business that 80 percent of the sales and activity come from 20 percent of the customers. Online, this rule is more like 90/10. As for active community members, the average is more like 97/3.

    Wikipedia released some interesting stats awhile back about the small amount of people who actually contributed to Wikipedia. One of the biggest online marketing forums on the web has a few regulars who keep the site going, but otherwise there doesn't seem to be a lot of active members.

    The key is that you have to be the intial superuser to keep your site going.

    Next, try to find other people who have an interest in visiting your site daily to create content and even take on a role as an admin. Some of these superusers might have a professional reason for spending so much time on your network and other people might just be passionate about the topic.

    The other key is to have a site that lends itself to active participation. This Network Creators site has a lot of members and active participation because we all have a stake in sharing information and tips about operating our networks. A weight loss network or parenting network might do well because the members have ongoing issues to deal with.

    In the example cited, the active management was needed because there appears to have been no other superusers on the site. Otherwise, more content creation would have continued.

    We can all learn from this. Try to find superusers and make a personal connection with them. Think about why someone would want to be a daily user of your site. Once you find a potential supoeruser, think about offering them an admin role to cement the relationship.

    You might even take a portion of your ad revenue to pay some people to be superusers on your site. You're not only paying them for their time, but also for the content and activity they create on your site.
  • Yes - I try to do much of what he lists, though not as often as I should perhaps? It's been fantastic to see all the individuals contributing to content here, in the Forum, Blog and Videos. Hope to see more Events submitted!
  • NC for Hire
    Thank you for this. A sobering reminder.
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